Company FZ, Loser

Review in Issue 16-3/4 | Autumn 2004

Loser investigates presence and absence, friendship and loss, and the humour within grief and tragedy. Reversing the roles of their acclaimed production Throat, FZ's John Paul Zaccarini directs and Flick Ferdinando performs, together with Paschale Straiton (in a role initially developed by Hayley Carmichael) and Jonathan Priest. The rapport between these three is perfect, and the production fully utilises their clowning skills. The performers are on stage as the audience arrives. First there are three – vodka and corny dancing, bad clothes, karaoke, flirting and fighting. The audience are played to, drawn into the game. Then there are two.

With the disappearance of 'Paschale’ (the show uses the familiar device of identity-merging of performer and character), the two that remain gradually move into a different theatre space, one of more dislocated action. 'Paschale’ remains as a ghostly presence, shadowing their relationship. A composed soundtrack and stylised movement gradually replace the played-live pop tunes and physical clowning. The stage furniture becomes the vehicle of expression for the characters' emotional states. Ice-framed portraits melt and a neon light flickers. The desire for understanding affection and resolution is played out beautifully on the centre-piece spiral staircase – a choreography of clinging, escaping, leaping and sliding that unites dance, gestural movement theatre and the classic circus skill Chinese pole.

The show is in its early days and there remain a few sections where the 'carpentry’ needs a bit of attention. Nevertheless, Loser is an engaging and entertaining piece of visual and physical theatre in which joy and pain, grief and humour, the gorgeous and the grotesque all co-exist.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-3/4
p. 26